Art show to open ?new? Elgin House

Two major events will be happening Saturday, May 23, in Marion.

?Art at the Elgin? will be the first attempt to bring young people and seasoned artists together with a shared goal of helping to further the reality of a youth center in Marion.

All artwork has been donated for the fund-raising event, said Doug Kjellin, member of mYac, the acronym for Marion Youth Activities Center.

?The occasion is really two events?art work supplied by the school students and professional art provided by local artists,? he said.

The afternoon session is from noon to 4 p.m. and the evening session from 6 p.m to 8 p.m.

?The afternoon session will showcase all donated art with a silent auction on art pieces done from our schools, with the exception of the chairs,? Kjellin said. ?The evening session will feature local artist-donated items, the ?chair project? and other area art.?

Marion High School art instructor Jim Versch said his students do a similar project every year by taking a chair and painting it with famous artwork.

But this year the students will have an opportunity to see their work sold at a live auction, thanks to Brandi and Robert Hendrix, who bought 11 chairs from ?Bearly Makin? It Antiques? in Marion for that purpose.

As an art teacher in Wichita, Brandi Hendrix said, she remembered a silent auction featuring all sorts of art and mosaics.

?After talking with Jim (Coultier) about the idea of an art auction with proceeds going toward a youth center, he was open to it,? she said. ?As a parent, I want this youth center for my children and others.?

Versch said his advanced art students worked on the chairs as part of their curriculum.

That?s where all similarities end. Each chair and each artist?s paintings are unique. Each chair had a theme, Versch said, and the students sketched a famous artist?s painting.

Some of those themes came from artists such as M.C. Escher, Norman Rockwell, Edward Hopper, Andy Warhol and Edgar Degas.

Area artists donating to the event range from Tracy Hett?s barbed-wire creation to charcoals and pencil drawings from Butler County Community College and many other local works expressing originals in a variety of mediums.

Adding to the event, Jim Cloutier, owner and proprietor of the Elgin, is using ?Art at the Elgin? as his open house.

?We are so excited because not only is our event the first use of the new facility, but Jim will be giving tours of the second floor bed-and-breakfast,? he said.

Organizers are hoping people will consider the combined event as a reason to dress up and celebrate.

Artists wanting to donate artistic works for the auction may do so until Friday, May 15.

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